Should You Build A Responsive Website or Mobile Website

Mobile vs Responsive
There has been a lot of discussion lately around making your website mobile friendly. There are multiple ways to make a website mobile friendly. But the most popular way is to make it either responsive or to create a mobile website. So which one should your church have?

Before I answer the question I want to explain what each is along with the pros and cons.

Responsive Website

A responsive website has the ability to adapt automatically to whatever device a site is being viewed on. All devices are sent the same code but the web pages are reformatted using code in the
users web browser.

Pros of a responsive website:

  • One website to manage
  • Improved user experience
  • It is recommended by Google

Cons of a responsive website:

  • Not a quick fix
  • Requires a larger upfront budget
  • Challenging to achieve perfect results on all platforms

Mobile Website

A mobile website is a second website that is designed specifically for viewing on a mobile device. The user is sent the correct version of the site depending on the type of device they are on.

Pros of a mobile website:

  • It is a quick fix
  • Smaller file size for faster viewing
  • Craft specifically to match mobile needs

Cons of a mobile website:

  • Updating content in 2 places
  • Extra monthly costs of two websites
  • Simplified version may not satisfy user needs

I highly recommend you go responsive if you are starting a new website or looking for a website redesign. A responsive website will work with current browsers and adapt to ever changing mobile devices.

Here’s What You Should Do To Organize Content

Frustrated Business Owner
Overwhelmed by content? Learn how to organize content for your new website.

Content is a website essential. It gives people a reason to visit your site. In fact, it helps them find your website. And once they’ve found you, it provides a reason to return. Content also helps you sell your products or services. Because content is so important to your online success it’s important to create a content plan. It’s also important to keep your content organized so you can make sure you’re accomplishing your goals. Here are a few tried and true tips to help you organize content for a new website.

Keywords, Categories, And Navigational Structure

Consider sitting down and using note cards or a visual sitemap using the flowchart feature on your word processing software. The goal here is to plan your content by category and keywords and to help you create an internal linking structure. Keyword research, target audience research and a content strategy will all help you create a solid plan for your website content.

Plan Your Content

A content plan will help you be organized from the very beginning. A content plan outlines:

  • How much content you’re going to publish. For example, maybe you’ll decide to publish five articles a week and three blog posts.
  • When you’re going to publish your content. This may include not only the day of the week or month but also the time of day.
  • Where you’re going to publish the content. This may include your website, blog, article marketing sites, and even email marketing.
  • What the content is about, specifically. What topic will you address in each piece of content?
  • The goal for your content. What do you want the content to accomplish?
  • How you might re-use and/or re-purpose the content. For example, you might convert an article to a video, turn a blog post into a mp3, or take a snippet from a blog post and publish it on your social networking page.
  • How you’re going to create the content. Are you writing it yourself, using PLR, or hiring a ghostwriter?

Create Your Document Organization System

Everyone has their own system for organizing documents and materials. The key is to keep your system simple. You might create a tiered folder system on your computer desktop. The main folder may be labeled “Content.” Inside you could organize your content by month, topic and keyword, or goal.

Keywords

Keywords are the words that prospects will likely use to find your website. It’s important to make sure that you’re focusing on a few keywords to help them find you. Consider sitting down on a monthly or quarterly basis and spending some time on keyword research. Stay on top of the keywords that affect your business niche. Also create an organization system that reflects your target keywords. For example, you might keep a three ring binder on your desk with tabs for each month’s research and subsequent content plan.

Test, Track, and Improve

Testing and tracking is essential. Install analytics on your website so you can track which type of content generates the most traffic. Using your content plan, which includes your keywords and your content goals, spend time on a monthly basis reviewing your content. Are you achieving your goals?

A few solid strategies and systems will help you build your new website’s content successfully. Plan a website out on paper first. Create a content plan so you’re able to stay organized. Create systems to store and track your content as well. When you implement these tactics from the very beginning, you’ll be able to make quick improvements and achieve online success more quickly.

Are You Worried About Choosing A Hosting Company?

How do you choose a hosting provider when there are thousands of hosting companies available online? Most web hosting companies can meet the minimum requirements of running a word press website or even an e-commerce website, but you need to develop a list of the features you are looking for in a hosting company.
Below are a few of the things you need to consider when choosing your hosting company:

  1. How much bandwidth is the hosting company offering?
  2. How much disk space will your web site require? Is the hosting company offering enough space for your website to grow?
  3. What is the up time and server load?
  4. What type of hosting support does the hosting company provide?
  5. What type of hosting support do you require? Do you need telephone, email, chat, or forum? The support provided by the hosting company should meet your needs.
  6. What type of training is provided by your web hosting provider? Do they offer one-on-one walk guidance, written tutorials, or video tutorials?
  7. Do you need to be able to use CGI?
  8. Which server-side scripting technologies such as PHP, ASP.NET, and others do you require?
  9. Do you need a secure server (one that uses SSL).
  10. How many email and ftp accounts do you need?


The check list I provided above can be very useful but if you are still wondering how do I find a hosting company I will give you my suggestion. I suggest you go with a hosting company that offers Linux hosting with PHP 5.2.4 or greater, MySQL 5.0 or greater, and the mod_rewrite Apache module. Except for cPanel those are the minimum requirements to run word press. If you are not sure if a hosting company can meet those requirements send them an email and ask.

I recommend either Lunarpages, Site5 or Managed Church Websites for basic WordPress hosting. If you need more advanced hosting I recommend KnownHost for Managed VPS Hosting.

Remember to choose the hosting company because it meets your needs and not because it is the cheapest.

What Everyone Needs to Know To Create A Website Budget

Once you know the purpose of your website you can create a budget. When creating a budget to create a website you want to consider all the cost.

Note: There is no such thing as a free website or free marketing. It will cost you time or money. If you hire someone to create your website it will cost you money. If you create your own website it will cost you time. The time required to create a website is time taken away from running your business and should be considered in your website budget. How much is your time worth, $5/hr, $25/hr, $50/hr, or $125/hr? How much time will it take away from your business for you to learn how to create your own website?

Things to consider when creating your budget

  • Do you need a copywriter to write your website content?
  • Do you need to buy graphics software and hardware to create your own graphics and design your website?
  • Do you need a web designer or web consultant to design, code, and set-up your website?
  • Do you need a professional photographer to take pictures of your products?
  • Who will maintain your website content, security, backups, and upgrades?

Include the following in your website budget:

  1. Domain name registration
  2. Web Hosting
  3. Web Design Package
  4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  5. Marketing
  6. Maintenance

E-commerce websites should also consider the following:

  1. Merchant Account
  2. Secure Server Certificate
  3. Shopping cart program
  4. Product Photos

If you plan to create your own website your website budget should include the following:

  1. Time required to learn required skills
  2. Time required to complete each task
  3. Software (Graphics and Photo Editing)
  4. Hardware (Digital Camera, Quality Computer with internet access, scanner)
  5. Cost of training resources, such as videos, books, memberships, etc…

Your website budget will give you an estimate of the required investment. Considering time in your budget will help you determine what tasks you should hire an expert to complete.

10 Helpful Tips For Initial Website Planning

Do you want to create a website, but don’t know where to start? Before you start to build a website I suggest you plan your website. When planning a website there are initial questions you need to answer. Once you can answer the question of who will visit your website you can understand why you'd actually need a website for your business. Plan your website with your visitors in mind.

Who will visit your website?

Think about your customers. How old are your customers? Where are they located? What sex are your customers? If you don't have any customers describe your perfect customer.

Why are they visiting your website?

Determining why visitors will visit your website will make it easier for you to identify your site's primary goals and purpose. Will people visit your site to find out information about your company? Will visitors be looking for information about the products and services your business offers? Come to your website to purchase products? Will visitors come to your website to share information? Will visitors come to your website to network with the community? Will users come to your website for entertainment? Will visitors come to your website to learn new information or skills?

How will they visit your website?

It's important to think about your visitors when you're planning your website. Will your visitors use a PC, a Mac, or Linux? Will your visitors be using Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, Firefox, or Chrome? Will visitors access your website from their mobile (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Palm, etc.)?

What are your initial goals for your website?

Once you have identified who your visitors are, why they will come to your site, and how they will get there you can set your initial goals for your website. What action do you want users to take once they reach your website?What path will get users to the desired action.

    Summary

    Before you create a website always determine your audience, what they will use to find your website, and why they will visit your website. Answering these initial questions will allow you to clearly identify the purpose and goals of your website.